Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello Family

The spider was as big as my fist and pretty reluctant to die. As you can expect, I was the only one who dared get close enough to measure his size with my hand. :) 
The tree and post are more damage photos from last weeks typhoon.
The dog is something that I thought Kaylee and Matt might appreciate. He fell asleep in my shoes, after fondling them with his face and caressing it with his paws. He really liked the feel of the leather and was really reluctant to get out when it came time to leave the home we were teaching at. 

The woman in yellow was Sister Peter's fellow-shipper and a really good friend of ours.
The woman in white standing with me and Sis. Maagad is Sister Peters, our old investigator who was baptized. 
The food is from Chowking, a famous chain food restaurant here.
The drink is the most popular and famous Philippino dessert, Halo-Halo. It has coconut, ice cream, ice, evaporated milk, leche flan (sometimes) jack fruit, beans, and gelatin balls. Masarap! :) 
So... why didn't anyone write me about Trevor leaving? :( Joke lang... I don't really mind. Just make sure to include it in your next email! I'm interested on how he felt and what is was like and so forth... :) Well, another busy week! 
We had interviews with our mission president, zone meeting, and a baptism to attend in another area. It's been a lot of running around this week, and a lot of traveling... Whew, I hope this week is a little more close to home base. I'm starting to miss my area, haha! 
Zone meeting was really great! We learned about some interesting changes as far as missionary work, released by the First Presidency! I also loved hearing some of the changes that our Mission President is making. It is fun to see new insights from him!
We actually didn't have the opportunity to do our interviews because when we got there, we were already running late for the baptism. So we had to schedule it again for this week and rush as fast as we could to San Pablo. And then, we were too late to actually see the baptism itself, but we were able to congratulate her! Sister Peters was the baptism, p.s. 

So, highlights for this week...
We are teaching a cute 8 year old. She is so adorable and has committed to baptism now. She has the biggest smile and I just love her to pieces! 
When we teach her, she just wears this adorable smile the whole lesson. I love it! 

We also had a really wonderful experience with on of our new investigators. He testified to us that he knew it was true. He told us that many missionaries have visited their home, but he always hid from them. After a while, missionaries stopped coming. When they did, he was really worried about his salvation. He began praying that Heavenly Father would send missionaries again, from the TRUE church. He promised that when he did, he would accept them.  Well, we were sent! And then he received a copy of the Book of Mormon, and by the second lesson he has prayed and received a witness. How cool! The story is much cooler, but time is up! I'll tell you more next week! 

Love you all! 
-Sister Beaumont

Note From mom-  This is the shortest letter she has sent.  I think she spent her time writing her brother this week who just entered the MTC as a new missionary.  :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014


Kumusta po kayo, ang aking pagmamahal pamilya! (I hope that isn't disrespectful... pagmamahal is used to say beloved son in the first vision...) 
*means-- How are you, my beloved family! 

I'm so sad to have missed such a fun, family weekend... Idaho, cabins, Yellowstone, and of course my dear brother's farewell and eagle scout award... What an exciting week! 
I too had an exciting week... in the opposite sense of the word. 

It all started on Tuesday, when we received a text, "Prepare your 72 hour kits, there will be a typhoon tonight." That's all it said, and that's all we knew. We get texts when ever a typhoon hits, be it big or small so we weren't too concerned. Just another day in the Philippines... until...  we noticed that there was a thick covering of dark clouds as far as the eye could see. We couldn't even see the tall mountains in our area. They were completely invisible because of the fog. I looked at Sister Maagad and said, "Is that normal?" Her eyes got really big. "I've never seen that before. This is going to be a big typhoon." 
And then we forgot about it and went on our way to our appointment. We had 5 lessons that day, one after another. We were so happy because we've been opening and it's been rough trying to get even 2 lessons a day. At our last lesson, the news was on when we walked in. We asked what grade the typhoon was supposed to be. She said 3. I shrugged and said, "Oh, iyan lang? Hindi masama siya." Meaning, "Oh, that's all? Not too bad." Sister Maagad laughed at me. "No, 3 out of 4!" If you are wondering, Yolanda was 4. So this was supposed to be just a little better than Yolanda. 
Of course, I was really excited. I mean, typhoon? Not many people experience those. And in the Philippines? Cool, right? Nope, not really, as I was about to learn. After our last appointment is when it began. It was about 8pm and the rain was beating down in sheets. The wind was whipping the rain into our faces, so that having an umbrella was pointless. I asked Sister Maagad if we could stop by the ATM before going home, but she just shook her head. "No, this is going to get worse. We need to go home now." The sense of urgency in her voice should have awaken me, but it didn't. 

We got home and planned and then sat around with the other sisters laughing and joking about. (We were celebrating the last day with Sister Vaka because she would be transferred on Thursday. )
Every once and a while we would hear a loud gush of wind or something and stop, but we really paid the typhoon no mind. We had been told that we were in a safer area and that typhoons don't normal hit us that hard. Finally, we all went to bed and tried to sleep. But after all the fun and it was quiet in the house, I realized that the storm was actually pretty strong. And it was getting stronger and stronger. I sleep right under the window and I was watching the trees across the street whipping in the wind like wet noodles. I was pretty sure one would come crashing through the window any second... It sounded like a motorcycle was ripping by our window no stop, or a train was going by or something. The wind was literally howling- the pressure was hurting my ears. About 2 am Sister Maagad sat up and exclaimed, "I can't sleep!!!!!" 
I laughed because I had thought I was the only one awake. Just then we heard something crash outside our window. We went rushing out onto the balcony to find that our laundry trolley had fallen and all the clothes were lying everywhere. We hurried about trying to pick up the clothes, literally soaked to the bone. Sister Williams came to help but a huge gush of wind slammed the door shut, catching her hand in between. Don't worry, she just has a bruise, no break... :) We didn't have any electricity or water, as we later discovered. 

If you want to really know what it looked/ felt like, go watch The Other Side of Heaven. That typhoon scene was EXACTLY what we were experiencing. We all gathered into the other room because my room at this point was flooded with water. (Only ankle deep though.) We started singing hymns together to help us sleep. That's when we started getting texts from members saying that they needed help, that their roofs were caving in.  We all felt really terrible. We knew that their was no way our mission president would let us go out and help until AFTER the storm. So we knelt together and said the most heartfelt prayer I've offered on my mission. As we thought of all the people caught in the storm, people with simple homes made of bamboo wood, we prayed hard that they would be safe. 

About an hour later, the typhoon stopped suddenly. It was unnaturally quiet outside. The rain and wind were gone and we couldn't even hear animals noises anymore. Silence, complete silence. I had no idea what that meant, (after all this was my first typhoon.) So I assumed it was over and went immediately to sleep. (It was 5 in the morning at that point and we hadn't slept all night.) Little did I know that we were in fact, in the eye of the storm. meaning the storm was hitting us directly. 

 At exactly 6:30 am, (Missionary wake up schedule) The storm began again. It was EXTREMELY STRONG, if not worse than before. All our doors started slamming open and closed, the windows were swinging back and forth like they were nothing. We were watching roofs fold like paper, fragments breaking off and blowing away in the wind. It was intense. The street started flooding and we decided it would be safe to start packing in case we had to leave suddenly. (Both the up and downstairs were flooded now.) 

Thankfully, we didn't have to leave and about 9am the storm stopped for good. (The storm lasted for over 12 hours.) As soon as we were sure it was safe, we began texting our Mission President to get permission to leave so we could help the members. But we couldn't get through to ANYONE in San Pablo. So we decided to just leave anyway. We went directly to one member in particular, that sounded like needed the most help. As we traveled, we were astonished by the damage. Most of the places didn't look the same. There were broken windows, caved in roofs, and even crumbled buildings all around. We arrived at the members to find the house was completely destroyed. It was made of concrete brick, which had crumbled down into nothing. We helped them all day uncover all their belongings from the rumble. I was so surprised with how they were taking it. Instead of being depressed or even angry, they were the complete opposite. They were smiling, even when the first met us at the damage. They have such strong faith and courage, that I could never have. I was so touched. Who are these amazing people that I am serving? Even when they loose everything, they have faith in Christ. They are such happy, faithful, strong people. This whole week we have been rescuing the members. We have helped repair damage, obtain food and water, and clean up. It's been crazy and busy, but I have been so inspired and I love these wonderful people. 

We did eventually get water and electricity back, after about 3 days. In the meantime, I learned to be thankful for those simple blessings of lights at night or even running water. We had to shower with 1 and 1/2 ladles worth of water (about 5 cups) which made me feel really, really bad for complaining about our shower and bathroom earlier. 

All in all, I'm great. Don't worry! It's been an unforgettable experience, this past week. But I'm fine and we are even going to teach later today. The work moves on! 
Love you all! 
-Sister Beaumont

Opening A New Area

Dear Family, 

Emailing you again? What is this? I just emailed you all! This week went by so, so fast! Next week is transfer week. We are all anxious to see who amongst us will transfer, especially because we all JUST transferred. I don't feel like I will transfer, but I do feel that it's 50/50 that I'll get a new companion. I hope not!  I love Sister Maagad so much! She is so much fun and a wonderful teacher. I feel like I haven't learned enough from her yet. 

This week we were able to spend a lot more time street contacting and trying to receive more investigators. We have many potentials that we are hoping to teach this week. We have also been getting to know all the members and part member families- and the more I tract around this ward, the more I fall in love with them. I truly have a wonderful ward here in St. Tomas. They are so focused on fellow shipping and even on missionary work- it's great! 

And, I feel that I'm finally to the point where I understand everyone! Yay! I can communicate naturally, instead of stuttering out what I want to say... (although, that does still happen from time to time.) It's weird because I feel like there are sometimes where I don't know if I'm speaking English or Tagalog while I'm talking. Or when other people talk to me even. And I can't say two sentences in English without throwing in a few tagalog words. My companion always laughs at me for that. :) 

Sorry that I don't have much to talk about as far as missionary work. We are still setting things up around here and so I don't have many missionary experiences to write. I can tell you though that a family we were working on in Batangas just got baptized! Yay! And then Sister Peters had her interview yesterday and will be baptized this Saturday! Yay! Yay! Harvest season is now! 

Well, for the funny corner today....

1. This week I had a ten year old boy following us around. He was so fascinated that I was American, and even more that I could speak tagalog. He followed us right into our lesson and STAYED THERE. Haha, it was all fine until the momma bear came. (Their family is Igleshia Ni Cristo... so yeah. Igleshia Ni Cristo broke off from our church. For the most part, they really, really don't like mormons...) His mom was pretty steamed, but he wormed his way into staying. He followed us back to the highway after the lesson at which point he asked if I was rich. When I told him that I wasn't, he suddenly lost all interest. He said a quick goodbye and ran back into his house. Young love, haha. It was a good laugh for us later. 

2. I've been waking up a lot randomly between 1-3 am lately to use the bathroom. I think I'm drinking too much water or something. ;) But one night in particular, at approx. 1:50 am, I stubbled out of bed and down the stairs, only to find a family of cockroaches had moved our apartment. There were about 7 or 8 of the little creatures, running crazy around the kitchen. I put on my game face and like a boss, started stamping every inch of the place until at last, every cockroach had met it's end. When at last I came out victorious, I suddenly realized that it was 2:10 and I still hadn't used the bathroom. It all hit me at once and I was certain I was going to pee my pants, that it was already too late. Thankfully, I did make it and all was well. But for early morning experiences, I'm sure that was a winner. 

3. This week was one of our neighbor's birthdays. UNLIKE, the Mormon-Utah culture I am used too, there were no balloons, cake, or ice cream. Just drinking. Lots and Lots of drinking. And of course, as is the staple of the Philippine Culture, karaoke. I guess that it was the "Birthday Boy's" new present, because our 50 plus neighbor (the one whose birthday it was) sang it faithfully from dawn until dusk. LITERALLY. He began singing Tuesday morning at 6  a.m. and continued all through the night until 9  a.m. the next morning. And the more the day went on, the more drunk he got until you couldn't make out a word of it. Just "BLUHHHHHHHHH-BLUBBBBBB, BLUHHHHHHHHHH." I think he must still be passed out somewhere, or dead even, because we haven't seen him since. But I'm certain his birthday was unforgettable, for him and for everyone who lives near him. More fun in the Philippines. :)

Well, time now to go.
Love you all! 
Till next week, 
-Sister Beaumont 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Something New, Something Old....

First of all, congratulations to my family for all the wonderful news! I loved reading everyone's emails this week and cried multiple times as I read about Canyon's baptism, Alicia's pregnancy, and Zuri's baby blessing! And of course, I cried buckets of tears as I read about my brother receiving his endowment. I'm so proud of him and I know he is doing great things with his life. 
Second, I can use dropbox again! So feel free to upload those beautiful pictures of everyone! And I'm putting my pictures there as well. 

Well, I guess I can't get off the hook that easy... :)
We were emergency transferred because of a ... creeper that kept hanging around our apartment. Don't worry, we were all safe, no harm. Mostly we just heard him hitting against the door or walking on the roof or saw him lurking around in the shadows... (Haha, I can just picture the panic on your face Mom. Don't worry, all is well and we are SAFE!) We think he was probably just messing with us, but because it's been happening to other missionaries that have stayed there before, as well as us we were transferred and the Elders got our area.
Now, speaking of Elders. I really hope I never have to transfer into an elder's apartment ever again. Actually, they did their best to clean it and it was really clean and ready for us... my problem is more with the apartment itself. The toilet doesn't know it's a toilet and it should flush.... we have a "bucket" toilet and it's nearly impossible to flush that thing! We have to dump bucket after bucket just to flush down #1. Haha, yes. It's been funny at least as we hear whoevers in the bathroom crying out in anger as they pour more and more water down the bowl with no success. The other day a cockroach fell in there and it took me TEN MINUTES, LITERALLY, to flush the little creature.The shower is also a bucket shower, but it isn't as bad as in my other apartment because the water is 10 degrees warmer. 
The other big problem is the bug, gecko, and every other living creature 7 inches or less crawling around inside. I believe that we moved into an ant hill because there are so, so, so many ants!!!!!! 

But it turns out that I needed to learn a very valuable lesson. Contentment. This week for independence day, the sister's who live with me in my apartment decided to watch pioneer movies after our work. (We have the Doctrine and Covenants movie in our apartment.) We watched Only a Stonecutter and Treasure in Heaven. As we watched those movies, I was so inspired and touched by their faith and perseverance in following the Lord. And then, as we watched... I realized... they didn't have a toilet. They didn't have a bucket shower, running water, and they slept on ant hills. I felt very selfish for feeling so negative about our apartment. I especially felt a terrible guilt weigh in my heart as I realized that Heavenly Father knew that I was going to come to this area, knew that there were ants and geckos and a broken toilet in the apartment, and He knew that those things didn't matter. Because I didn't come here to live in a fancy apartment with a flushing toilet, I came here to be OUT and SERVING. I came here to think about others and their trials and needs, not my WANTS. I realized that the pioneers were so strong because they didn't complain. They pressed forward with a hope in Christ. And if they can bear the mountains of trials that were placed upon their backs, surely I can bear a bucket toilet and some ants. Through their examples, I have made a goal to myself to complain less and love more. To focus outward, instead of inward... because toilets don't matter in the long run, but these people do! 

Well, speaking of people... we have been meeting a lot of new faces this week because Sister Maagad and I are opening the area! Yikes!   I really had no idea what that meant until this week. It means NOBODY in your area book.(There were only two elders in the area before and now there's four of us, so the area has been expanded.) Haha, it's been really adventurous as we have been going around to our members trying to get to know everyone and find investigators. BUT, I LOVE THIS WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people are so happy and so friendly. The ward actually is referred to as the "Friendly Ward." And we have a wonderful, wonderful bishop. He is so loving and so aware of his duty and the duty of the ward. I am so happy here in this area!!!!!!!!!!!! 

We had zone conference with our new mission president this week! I am so happy that we finally got to meet him! As you can imagine, us missionaries have been anxiously awaiting the day. He's so great and I already love him and look forward to the things that I will learn from him! 

As far as funny stories go, we got locked out this week because we all went to the tindahan, (a little store that someone has outside their house. They sell food that they bought at the store. Tindahans are everywhere here!) and forgot to bring our key. Sister Maagad tried to break in with the neighbor's I.D. card and knife, with no success. The mission office was in a zone conference, so we weren't able to call anyone to help us. Finally, the neighbor called a particularly agile old man from the street to climb up the fire escape, (picture climbing a palm tree) and go inside OUR apartment and unlock it. Before we could say, "Um... actually, that's not allowed, or safe..." He did it. Haha, don't worry, we later found out he works for the city hall so all is well and still safe in our new area. And at last we were able to get inside! 

Also, today was zone p-day and we played volleyball at the park for our activity. As it turns out, that really, really isn't my sport. Only ten minutes after play, I was hit in the eye with a particularly hard serve. (It doesn't help that I was talking to someone off court during play). I don't have a broken nose or anything, don't worry. But I do have a puffy and bruised eye. It's not quite a black eye and it doesn't hurt at all now. It's just a little swollen around the eyelids is all. But grabi! (Wow!) That sport will be the death of me! 

Well, email time has come to an end. Thank you again for your kind emails! 
I love you all! 
Sister Beaumont 

Troy and Emilee had a special experience Saturday and realized it during their exchange of emails.  From Dad to Emilee:

I don't know if this is anything but I got an impression while the temple president was talking to the missionaries getting their endowments. See if you can figure the time frame out.  It was about 9:30am our time. I felt at that moment that you were praying for your brother and had your thoughts with him. I am now wondering what you were doing at that time. Let me know if you can figure it out.

Emilee to Dad:
Thank you dad for you emails! I love you! 
Well, you are right! I was in fact, at that very moment praying for you and Trevor. We had accidentally stayed up late watching Joseph Smith movie together. After the movie, we realized it was late and immediately went to bed. As I was preparing to pray, I remembered that Trevor was getting his endowments out. I pondered it and truly felt that he was at the temple at that moment... I guess he was! I prayed that he would have the spirit with him and I especially prayed that he would feel my love for him and that he would know I was thinking of him on his special day and I thanked Heavenly Father for such a wonderful brother! I guess Heavenly Father sent my prayers to the wrong person, haha. Okay joking, I'm so happy that my prayer was heard and that you felt my love during his endowment. 
Mahal Kita, tatay! 
(I love you dad!)
Sister Beaumont 
This family is the family that we taught the Word of Wisdom and Eternal Families to. I think someone forgot to mention they could smile, haha. 

The woman on the couch is Sister Peters. I miss her so much! 

The fruit is mangosteen and it's one of my favorites. It's so, so delicious! 

The polynesian girl is Sister Vaka. Sister Williams also trained her so we are "Sisters' on the mission. I love her so much and we have too much fun together! 

I got to see Sister Feinga at Zone Conference, which was really fun! 

The family at night is the woman who tried to keep the Christ sticker. I think someone forgot to tell her to smile too. :)